Contact: Ron Indra, Director, Safe Schools Project, (831) 566-7931 or email.
By Mail: Safe Schools Project / QYTF
P.O. Box 3143
Santa Cruz, CA 95063
Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County, a program of the Queer Youth Task Force of Santa Cruz County (QYTF).
The mission of the Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County is to partner with schools and school districts to provide support and professional development and learning for school administrators, teachers, counselors and support staff to provide safe and inclusive environments for all students, but especially for LGBT students.
The Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County (SSP) works in collaboration with local schools and local and state-wide community organizations to provide the best information and practices in regards to creating safe and inclusive schools, avoid duplication in resources and services, and utilize successful models where they may exist to support safer schools for LGBTQ youth and their allies.
The overall goal of SSP is for every queer and queer-friendly student, parent, and staff person in the K-12 system within Santa Cruz County and beyond to know their rights and to feel safe on every school campus without bullying or harassment.
Under the California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 (AB 537 / Ed Code 220), all California public schools have a duty to protect students from discrimination and/or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Subsequent legislation has been passed to protect and support LGBT youth:
- 2016 – Suicide Prevention Policies in Schools (AB 2246, O’Donnell): Mandates that all schools in California implement suicide prevention policies that specifically address the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
- 2015 – LGBT Inclusive Sex Education (AB 329, Weber): Updated the state’s sexual health and HIV prevention curriculum that requires all school districts to provide instruction that is up-to-date, comprehensive and inclusive of LGBT people and their families.
- 2013 – Education Code 221.5. School Success and Opportunity Act (AB1266, Ammiano): Affirmed that transgender youth have the right to fully participate and succeed in schools across the state including sports, programs and activities that match their gender identity.
- 2011 – Education Code 51204.5. Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Act (SB 48, Leno, 2011): Requires schools to provide general instruction and textbooks that include information on the contributions of “Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and other ethnic and cultural groups” particularly in the area of social sciences. The act also adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s existing anti-discrimination protections that prohibit bias in school activities, instruction and instructional materials.
- 2011 – Education Code: 234.5. Seth’s Law (AB 9, Ammiano): Requires school districts to adopt a strong anti-bullying policy that specifically spells out prohibited bases for bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression and must have a process in place for reporting such complaints.
- 2007 – Education Code: 234. California Safe Place to Learn Act (AB 394, Levine): This law specified the State’s responsibilities to keep schools safe and fight bias and harassment in schools.
- 2007 – Ed. Code: 200, 210.7, 212.6, 219, 220. The Student Civil Rights Act (SB 777, Kuehl): Protects students from harassment and bullying in public schools by making sure teachers and school administrators fully understand their responsibilities to protect youth.
- Create presentations in partnerships with schools and school districts regarding the creation of safe and inclusive schools.
- Support safe and inclusive “safe persons” (faculty and staff) and programs within each school.
- Work with school administrators to create a “safe schools campaign” within each school district.
- Work with PTA’s, Site Council’s, adult allies, and “community teams” within each school district to create safe and inclusive schools for all students.
- Share current legislation, policies and implementation for LGBTQ students.
- Maintain a resource website for the Safe Schools Project.
Safe Schools Project’s Organizational Partners
- United Way of Santa Cruz County
- Temple Beth El
- Triangle Speakers
- The Diversity Center
- Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA’s) & Queer-Straight Alliances (QSA’s)
- UCSC Lionel Cantú Queer Resource Center
- Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD)
- Santa Cruz City Schools (SCCS)
- Santa Cruz County Schools
- Santa Cruz County Office of Education